Cobham Village Club Girls FC v. Teddington Athletic FC U14 Girls
0 - 3
Teddington Athletic FC Under 14 Girls finished 2017 with a flourish against a competitive Cobham Village FC side at the ACS International School this morning (17/12/2017). It was a mid table clash that could have been a dour affair in the freezing conditions but both teams pushed hard in an entertaining match. The score line didn't do Cobham justice. In fact they outplayed TAFC in the opening 20 minutes of the match. The back four of Issy, Lydia, Kate and Harriet worked hard to keep Cobham at bay. The TAFC defence worked well as a unit, with Lydia swooping in on more than one occasion to snuff out trouble. Kate read the game beautifully and she was often in the right place at the right time (using her tactical skill). Issy's elegant movement was reminiscent of a swan, serene and upright. Yet a steeliness grows within her, on more than one occasion she went shoulder to shoulder with the opposition winger. No one had to work harder in the first quarter than Harriet as Cobham took up residence in her corner of the pitch.
Goalkeeper Jess was kept constantly on her toes, with dives left and right to deny a free shooting Cobham. With her hands still stinging from the Cobham shots it was her shins of steel that denied Cobham's clearest chance as striker and goalkeeper clashed in the TAFC box. It was hard for the Teddington Athletic midfield to get a handhold in the game as Cobham flooded the middle of the pitch. Suddenly Matilda found a little space on the right and put through the marauding Emily, her first shot slashed wide. It was just a few minutes before they combined once more, and this time Emily buried her shot in the net (0-1). Jess was called into action as Cobham were desperate to make their possession pay, but once again Emily turned defence into attack. She was brought down in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Harriet bravely volunteered to take the spot kick but unfortunately slid it just wide.
Despite an early injury to Willow at the start of the second half Teddington Athletic weren't put on the back foot. The defence still played their part but Abi ruled the midfield area, she was the boss, dictating the play, outmuscling her counterparts. Occasionally it was an opportunity to release Lauren down the left, who once again kept possession well, and ran with the ball when there were no obvious forward passes. There was some divine play from the trinity of Abi, Neave and Matilda on the right wing. Much of the creative play flowed through them. Yet sometimes the big boot of Harriet cannot be denied, her long defensive clearances released Emily to charge into the heart of Cobham. The forays from Emily didn't abate throughout the match, and she regularly broke through the Cobham defence, after shrugging off two defenders she slotted a second past the Cobham keeper (0-2).
Cobham worked hard throughout the match and TAFC's second goal knocked a little wind out of their sails. By now Megan was roaming just behind the strikers and started making her mark on the game. She produced some delightful and unselfish passes that found Matilda, who popped up like a fox-in-the-box. Neave had a shot at goal before Emily once again charged down the centre, she was unstoppable, a flying wedge that broke the defence in two. You guessed it, she scored again, putting the game beyond Cobham's reach (0-3). Cobham played with real heart and didn't let their heads fall. Quite the opposite, in the last 5 minutes they came back stronger than ever, they deserved a goal for all the hard work they'd put in. Unfortunately they came up against a keeper in form, Jess' stunning save at the end denied Cobham one last time. Diving to her left, the ball ricocheted off her outstretched hand, then hit her head before flying over the bar.
Congratulations to Emily (last week's Player-of-the-Match) on her hat-trick. Thank you to Demetrios for managing the team, and Keith for linesman duties. Also to Cobham Village FC for looking after us so well.
TAFC team - Jess, Harriet, Kate, Lydia, Issy, Neave, Megan, Abi, Lauren, Willow, Matilda, Emily
Goals - Emily (x3)
Player of the Match (chosen by Juliet) - Jess
Shots Cobham 18 - 10 TAFC
Shots on target Cobham 11 - 7 TAFC